Personalities

Find out what Asia’s movers and shakers are up to ­– and how they spend their private time 
South China Morning Post
  1. It was around 3am when Antonious Remigius Abi, an ethics professor at the Faculty of Law at Santo Thomas Catholic University in Medan, North Sumatra, was awoken by frantic knocking on his front door. When he opened it, he found six young women carrying what seemed like all their worldly possessions. “They were begging for help, saying ‘Please protect us. Don’t tell anyone we’re here’,” said Abi, who recognised from their accents that the women were from his home province of East Nusa Tenggara …
  2. Filipino women on Friday reacted scornfully to President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that the country’s top leadership role was “not for women” because they were emotionally different than men, deriding the 75-year-old for ignoring the contributions of women leaders and furthering the already-prevalent sexism in the country.Etta Rosales, chair emeritus of Akbayan Partylist, a moderate left-wing group of opposition lawmakers, led the tide of criticism, saying in a statement, “The presidency is…
  3. The streets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, were empty on Wednesday morning – a far cry from the previous night’s hubbub as people scrambled to make preparations for a two-week lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.Roads were packed before the order came into force at midnight on Tuesday, with Malaysians squeezing in one last dinner or drink against the backdrop of thousands of coronavirus cases. Others returned to their hometowns before a ban on interstate or even interdistrict…
  4. As President Joko Widodo launched Indonesia’s Covid-19 vaccination drive on Wednesday, the televised images beamed into homes across the nation were rich in symbolism.Here was the president of the world’s fourth most populous nation quite literally opening his arms to China as he received a shot of the Sinovac Biotech vaccine his government had approved for emergency use just a couple of days earlier.This was the moment that the Southeast Asian country hit hardest by the novel coronavirus –…
  5. A former speaker of the Philippines’ House of Representatives has sparked outrage on social media after announcing his intent to form a new political grouping named after world-famous South Korean boy band BTS.Alan Peter Cayetano, an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte who was ousted as speaker in October, said he would form the BTS sa Kongreso (BTS in Congress) bloc with six fellow lawmakers – Representatives Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte Jnr, Dan Fernandez, Raneo Abu, Mike Defensor, Jose…
  6. An enigmatic Malaysian businessman with links to the rich and famous disappears, apparently fleeing the country and leaving in his wake hundreds of millions of missing ringgit, a string of angry investors and a host of questions about how this could have been allowed to happen.You could be forgiven for thinking this is Low Taek Jho, or “Jho Low”, whose alleged plundering of the Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB and links to Hollywood celebrities inspired the book ‘Billion Dollar Whale’.But…
  7. Soon after he became Japan’s prime minister in September, Yoshihide Suga attempted to shake off the image of a strait-laced functionary by referring to himself in an interview as “Gasu”, a play on the characters in his name. It didn’t work at the time, and he has instead acquired a far less flattering nickname. It’s one whispered behind Suga’s back for fear of his retribution – but in political circles, on social media and in the bureaucracy, there is reportedly no shortage of those who refer…
  8. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Sunday solidified his power with a new title of general secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party, in an election that prompted questions about the future of his high-profile sister and saw the promotion of a long-time official in his 60s.Kim was endorsed with the position, previously held by his late father and grandfather, during a congress called to map out diplomatic, military and economic policies over the next five years and make key personnel appointments,…
  9. At a luxury Melbourne hotel in September 2009, crime boss Gary Butcher made Glen Weaven an offer that promised to make his problems go away.Weaven had been helping Butcher ply his criminal trade for several months in Australia’s second-largest city, following a chance meeting in a bar with a stranger who happened to be a member of the crime lord’s gang.Weaven’s involvement started small and initially stayed within the confines of the law. At Berwick Springs Hotel in Melbourne’s southeastern…
  10. The youngest son of the firebrand Indonesian cleric behind the 2002 Bali bombings called his father a “victim” for believing in the teachings of Islamist extremists, and said he would tell him about “the serious wrongs that exist in Islamic State” when he is released from prison on Friday.Abu Bakar Bashir, 82, is set to be freed from an Indonesian jail where he has spent almost 10 years. He was sentenced to 15 years jail in 2011 for supporting an extremist training camp in Aceh province that…